Great Artesian Basin Springs Project

The Great Artesian Basin (referred to as the Basin) is one of the largest underground freshwater resources in the world.

Groundwater discharges naturally from the Great Artesian Basin into springs, lakes, rivers and wetlands. Most discharge areas, such as springs, are found along the Basin’s perimeter where water is closer to the surface. Within north-western NSW there are two major clusters of springs. These springs support endangered ecological communities and species, known as groundwater dependent ecosystems, listed under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

The Great Artesian Basin springs project is an offshoot of the Great Artesian Basin Sustainability Initiative (1999-2017) and the Cap and Pipe the Bores programs. The project also aligns with the guiding principles of the Commonwealth Great Artesian Basin Strategic Management Plan 2018.

The Great Artesian Basin springs project is a scientific survey that collects hydrogeological and ecological data targeting springs fed by deep groundwater sources, located within the NSW extent of the Basin. The survey validates historical data and provides immediate information on the condition of the springs. It is important to work towards developing a baseline dataset, which allows scientists to monitor changes over time. Increased knowledge and understanding of the Basin and its springs will enable us to make ongoing updates to regulatory plans and databases. This will help us to better manage the Great Artesian Basin.

Landholder involvement is a big part of the project’s success. We value their knowledge and the relationships formed during our field work.